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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7583
Experience:  Veterinarian
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My 15 yr old westie is howling and going into corners of

Customer Question

My 15 yr old westie is howling and going into corners of different rooms acting like she is going to throw up - she had never howled before. I am so upset that something is wrong.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the dog eat anything unusual?
Customer: She does not get people food and she never threw up - my husband just took her for a walk to get her mind off whatever is upsetting her.
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: Dittie
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Dittie?
Customer: Dottie
JA: Our top Veterinarian is ready to take your case. Just pay the $5 fully refundable deposit and I'll fill the Veterinarian in on everything we've discussed. You can go back and forth with the Veterinarian until you're 100% satisfied. We guarantee it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your girl Dittie. I am currently typing up a response and will have something for you in the next 5 - 10 minutes.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The walk did not help - Dottie is still howling and pacing
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

Thank you for your patience. There are a number of things that could be going on here this evening with your girl Dittie. Given her age, we need to consider everything from an acute gastroenteritis or toxicity, through to an internal organ or endocrine problem. It definitely sounds as though she is nauseous, hence the restleness and howling, but there could potentially be other symptoms here, so continue to keep a close eye on your girl if you can. For now, make sure there is plenty of water available for her and encourage her to drink. You can with hold her food for a few hours in case she does have a stomach upset here. If she seems particularly distressed and restless, then given her age, I would definitely encourage you to get her seen now if you can. It is always better to play it safe here and the howling and pacing is a strong signal that she is distressed and/or painful. A full physical exam and a couple of diagnostics will likely give your local ER vet an exact idea of what is going on here.

If you can't get her seen right now, please keep an eye on her mucus membranes, capillary refill time and respiratory rate tonight as follows (do be careful that your girl doesn't try to bite you):

Mucus membranes - flip her lip and look at the color of her gums. They should maintain a nice salmon pink color. Get her to the emergency Vet if they appear white or very pale pink, or if they are a dark deep red color.

Capillary Refill time - this measures blood perfusion and test this by putting your thumb on her gum to apply pressure. After you release your thumb you will see the gum blanch. Capillary refill time is the amount of time it takes (in seconds) for the gum to return to a healthy pink color from the blanched white color. If 2 seconds or less don't worry - if it is taking significantly more time, again - off to the emergency Vet.

Respiratory Rate - if she seems to be panting or breathing rapidly throughout the night, this is a sign of shock and or pain and a signal for a trip to the emergency Vet.

If you think this could indeed be related to nausea, then you may also want to try her with a little pepcid. The typical dose for this type of situation is 0.25mg per pound of body weight up to twice daily. You can read more about the use of Pepcid in dogs online here:

I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

PS: If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. E..." or "Pet-doc..." and others will leave the questions for me.

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Pet Doc